The analytical formulation of curved-plate non-linear equilibrium equations including transverse-shear-deformation effects is presented. A unified set of non-linear strains that contains terms from both physical and tensorial strain measures is used. Linearized, perturbed equilibrium equations (stability equations) that describe the response of the plate just after buckling occurs are derived. These equations are then modified to allow the plate reference surface to be located a distance z(sub c) from the centroidal surface. The implementation of the new theory into the VICONOPT exact buckling and vibration analysis and optimum design computer program is described. The terms of the plate stiffness matrix using both classical plate theory (CPT) and first-order shear-deformation plate theory (SDPT) are presented. The effects of in-plane transverse and in-plane shear loads are included in the in-plane stability equations. Numerical results for several example problems with different loading states are presented. Comparisons of analyses using both physical and tensorial strain measures as well as CPT and SDPT are made. The computational effort required by the new analysis is compared to that of the analysis currently in the VICONOPT program. The effects of including terms related to in-plane transverse and in-plane shear loadings in the in-plane stability equations are also examined. Finally, results of a design-optimization study of two different cylindrical shells subject to uniform axial compression are presented.